BYU vs. No. 10/14 Oregon State postgame notes and quotes

(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

FULL CIRCLE
The last time the BYU defense allowed over 300 total yards was 2011’s 38-28 victory over Oregon State when the Cougars surrendered 365 total yards to the Beavers. This year it was too much for BYU however, giving up a season-high 450 yards.

BATTER UP
The BYU defense got big and tall, batting down three Oregon State passes for incompletions. Defensive linemen Romney Fuga, Bronson Kaufusi and Ezekiel Ansah all batted balls down.

TWIN BROTHERS
Twin brothers, BYU’s Uani ‘Unga and Oregon State’s Feti ‘Unga faced off against eachother’s team. Both players honored their mother by wearing her maiden name, Taumoepeau, on their jerseys. Uani finished with four tackles, including 0.5 tackle for loss. Feti finished with seven tackles and an identical 0.5 tackle for loss.

A LOT OF PASSING
Quarterback Riley Nelson set a new career high in passing completions (28) and attempts (51). He finished with 305 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. Oregon State’s Cody Vaz completed 20 of 32 passes for 332 yards and three touchdowns, all in his first career start.

HOFFMAN KEEPS IT GOING
Wide receiver Cody Hoffman kept his streak alive, now catching at least one pass in 26 straight games and 32 of 33 career games. Hoffman also set a new career high with 10 receptions. Hoffman finished with 102 yards, his fourth 100-yard game of the season. In two games vs. Oregon State, Hoffman has 19 receptions for 264 yards and three touchdowns.

2,000 CLUB
With his 102 yards, Hoffman now has 2,004 career receiving yards, the 13th player in school history to have at least 2,000 career receiving yards.

RUNNING OUT THE FLAG
Senior quarterback James Lark led BYU out of the tunnel carrying the team flag today. Freshman receiver/quarterback Alex Kuresa also ran out the special teams flag. Former Cougar Stan Raass (LB, 94-95) carried the alumni flag.

BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall
First of all congratulations to Mike Riley and Oregon State. They had a very nice plan and executed it very well on both sides of the ball.

I thought our offense responded pretty well for the majority of the game, answering scores and I was really glad to see that.

I thought Jamaal Williams emerged and I actually thought we threw it and caught it better than we had and were more consistent offensively probably through three-quarters of the game, maybe three and a half quarters.

Oregon State's ability to throw it over the top of us, big pass plays, I thought was the difference in the game. They were able to execute in a lot of critical situations but just giant junks. It was our inability to defend the pass well and down field throws with Oregon's State's receivers ability to keep making the critical plays that was the difference in the game.

On tipped balls:
Yeah that was one of those days when the bounces didn’t go our way. They made more plays to win.

Oregon State offense picking on Jordan Johnson:
At the beginning yes and so we took some measures and protected him from that. Any time you work and role one way, there are weakness on the other side. Their routes and their concepts were just exceptional and again my hats off to them, they did a really good job planning.

On BYU not able to complete deep pass plays:
OSU wasn’t playing super aggressive and they were playing to prevent balls from going over the top. And so that just forces consistency, consistency, consistency, consistency from the beginning of the game till the end. And while they were giving up scores, ultimately at the end, it eventually worked.

On defense losing any swagger:
Not necessarily, I think it was reflective of their first couple of series; their play really didn’t change after that. I really thought we would have, I would have, better answers. I thought they were, we just didn’t execute them on offense. So that is where it became frustrating to all of us is the things we thought would be right but we weren’t executing them in the right way. And again that’s preparation and that’s on me.

On tight end play:
I think we took a step back today and didn’t catch the ball as well. I think Kane had been playing really well early this season, making clutch catches except today we struggled to make catches. We struggled to catch it cleanly and move forward.

Bouncing back at Notre Dame:
It’s going to be hard. Looking forward, it will be a great test for all of us. We believed we had a great chance to compete and win this game, I think we did. We didn’t play well enough to do it. But certainly, no one will feel sorry for us. We’ll have to get right back up and work extremely hard, and we will have to rally, and focus hard and make little improvements, going into a difficult setting figuratively, and that’s part of the reason of playing coach is fun.

Quarterback Riley Nelson
On running more:
No we felt the first play of the game coming out and running play action would take advantage of defenses that are typically wound up to stuff the run and they actually did a good job of covering the receivers and a lane opened up. If I look back, I took four sacks. And I think I was trying to protect myself and to not run as much. In the second half, I probably should have taken off more. So going forward, taking off is still the smart thing to do, maybe it will be something we will see from here on out.

On Oregon State’s defense limiting what BYU could do:
Yeah because he has size advantage and he has an athletic advantage over linebackers and the size advantage verse corners. He is our go-to guy and the other thing was I was talking to Ross and they had the corner with a safety help and they were sending backers to our three receiver side and so things were just kind of muddled and so coming back to that side of the field was one of the reason why I kept coming back to it. But yes, give them credit; we couldn’t take the top off of them today. We got a few chunks on some play actions, but we couldn’t really get the ball vertically. To their credit, their safeties did a good job on top of our guys, and their pass rush was pretty good to.

On having patience in the pocket:
As evidence by my last interception. You have to maintain control and you have to stay within the box and you can no matter the score or the time of the game, stay within your read. If you go outside your read, stuff like that happens. But I’m a senior and I’m the quarterback and I have to do what my team needs me to do in order to give us a chance to win the game. If that is completing, four and five yard passes, then I got to keep completing and keep getting first downs. 

On shovel passes:
Teams will see it now. They hadn’t seen it from us. But other teams will see it now and probably prepare for it. I’m really proud of Jamaal and the way he handled that play as well as every other play. He’s a special player, he had about 150 total yards, and so I am really proud of him and the way he played. Hopefully, that is one more thing that the defense has to prepare for and keeps them a little more honest in the pass rush.

Defensive back Preston Hadley
Well I think that they just played better than us today. They were able to really spread us out and just get easy throws for their quarterback. And from that, we had to back off a little bit and our coverage just didn’t hold.

On the reaction to the tipped pass for a touchdown for Oregon State:
Like Riley said, that was just kind of like the story of the game. When we needed those big plays, you know there are about five or six plays a game that really determine the outcome and I think that was one of them that just didn’t go our way. And that’s part of the game.

On Oregon State’s quarterback:
This is D-1 football, and so you just got to assume that any quarterback will be able to throw the ball. They were able to protect him and their receivers were able to get open. Good job on their part.

Was it frustrating watching Oregon State score?
Our defense, we still have a lot of pride and we still know what we are capable of and we know what we have to do to get better. And I think it came down to just not making plays when we had the opportunity to throughout all three levels of the defense. We’re still going out and keep working and we’re going to come back and fix what needs to be fixed and be ready for next week.

On losing any defensive swagger:
No I mean it’s disappointed when they score anytime but we were still confident in ourselves and our coverage and our rush defense. With something like that, you just got to come out and continue to play hard.

On responding at Notre Dame:
It’s going to be a new week and we’re a new team. Each week the goal is to go 1-0 so we’re just going to prepare and train like crazy and get ready for them and bring the fight to them.

Oregon State head coach Mike Riley
I don't think anybody in our locker room was particularly surprised Cody played well. I think they've had faith in him as a teammate for a long time. I knew this was going to be a hard venue to step into but I thought guys helped him out and made plays.

I knew we couldn't play BYU just slugging it out up front, and I knew Cody could throw the ball. It was just a matter of giving him protection, which I wondered if we could do. BYU is a very good defensive football team and I thought we handled that part of it pretty well and allowed Cody to do what he can do.

We had to throw the ball down the field against this team. You can't just plan on throwing the same plays at BYU's front line.

BYU was on their game today, but we just kept plugging and made enough plays to win the game.

BYU vs. Oregon State game recap